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CAQM Directs CTPPs in NCR to Target at least 5% Co-Firing of Biomass Pellets with Coal by Sep 30

CAQM, the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjacent Regions, has directed captive thermal power plants (CTPP) to begin co-firing stubble or biomass pellets with coal.

Shivam Dwivedi
Ex-situ utilization of paddy straw being an important strategy to control stubble burning
Ex-situ utilization of paddy straw being an important strategy to control stubble burning

According to a CAQM order issued on March 20, in order to effectively utilize agricultural residue as a resource, it has directed all CTPPs in the NCR region to take immediate steps to co-fire biomass-based pellets, with a focus on paddy straw utilization, along with coal through a continuous and uninterrupted supply chain, with a target of at least 5% co-firing of biomass pellets by September 30 and at least 10% co-firing by December 31, 2023.

Furthermore, the Commission has directed that these CTPPs strictly comply with the emission standards at all times and with immediate effect, as specified in Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, MoEFCC's Notification S.O. 3305(E), dated 07.12.2O15, and its amendments from time to time.

The first action taken report in accordance with this Directive must be submitted to the Commission by September 30, 2023, with subsequent reports sent on a monthly basis.

Ex-situ utilisation of paddy straw being an important strategy to control stubble burning, the Commission has taken up the issue of ex-situ management of agricultural stubble with NCR State Governments and State Government Authorities since its inception to ensure use of agricultural residue/biomass pellets as fuel in Thermal Power Plants (TPPs).

The Commission mandated specified 11 TPPs located within 300 kilometres of Delhi to co-fire biomass pellets with coal in proportions of up to 5-10% in Statutory Directive No. 42 dated 17.09.2021.

Low Sulphur coal has been approved in NCR as an exemption, but only in NCR TPPs. Because this regulation also applies to captive thermal power plants, co-firing of biomass-based pellets with coal must be implemented in all Captive Thermal Power Plants.

Captive Thermal Power Plants have also been required to submit the first action taken report in accordance with Directive No. 72 by September 30, 2023, or face action.

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